Volume 16 • Issue 2
Southwestern @ Georgetown

Fayez Sarofim, Patron of the Arts

Since the late 1960s, Fayez Sarofim, president, chairman of the board and a director at Fayez Sarofim & Company, has managed Southwestern University’s permanent endowment fund. During this period, the endowment has grown nearly tenfold. Yet more important than his skill in investment management has been his dedication to the support of the fine arts. Since 1995, Sarofim has given generously to Southwestern in support of its fine arts programs. His unparalleled generosity ultimately led the University to name its fine arts school The Sarofim School of Fine Arts in 1999.

Sarofim’s gifts funded a major portion of the visual arts wing added to the Alma Thomas Fine Arts Center in 1999 as well as the upcoming renovations to the Alma Thomas Theater and the core structure of the Fine Arts Building. His generosity will provide Southwestern’s students with, among other things, new rehearsal spaces, up-to-date theatre equipment and a theatre design studio.

Fayez Shalaby Sarofim was born in Egypt. He came to the United States in 1946 and became a naturalized citizen in 1961. Earning degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Business School, Sarofim founded Fayez Sarofim & Company, an investment firm in Houston, in August of 1958. In 1997, he was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame.

His philanthropic efforts provide vital assistance to critical institutions and programs in a number of fields. Sarofim is a major contributor to the Houston Ballet and Museum of Fine Arts. He has provided support to Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, the Texas Children’s Hospital and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for construction of the Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building. Sarofim also has made financial gifts to the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony, the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, the Sarofim Hall, the Alley Theatre and the Los Angeles Opera.

Sarofim has played a vital role in building Southwestern’s prominence as a liberal arts university. At the naming of SSFA, Former President Roy Shilling said, “The financial expertise and generous philanthropy provided by Fayez Sarofim have greatly supported Southwestern’s national emergence.”